enjoying salad since 1978.

Thursday, December 25, 2003

So, despite all of the vitriol from that last post, I do want to wish everybody happy holidays. I hope you're enjoying your short break from work.

I'm enjoying myself in Oregon. I've been playing against my Dad in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004 and nearly winning! Not bad considering Dad's an actual golfer. He wants to take me to the Golf Course on Friday. That doesn't seem like such a great idea.

Gary Yee
3448 Kumu Street
Honolulu, HI 96822

Gary Yee took my money from an Ebay auction and never sent me anything. Because I tried to resolve the problem through arbitration, as Ebay requested, I'm now a few days over Ebay's arbitrary 60-day limit to file for Fraud Protection and will never see a penny back. Thanks Ebay! Thanks Gary Yee!

If you want to send Gary Yee an email, feel free to.

Update: Stacy just found a phone number for that address (I tried digging one up but was unsuccessful): (808) 988-3448. I'll try it in a few days and let everybody know.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

I am, in fact, in Oregon. I arrived at an airport in Washington Monday morning at 6am. A few friends of mine showed up to pick me up. Kudos to them for getting me at such a crazy hour. We wandered around the local mall evading all of the elderly folks who use it as an early-morning exercise track.

Later that day, we played Munchkin at my favorite Eastern Oregon pizza parlor. I had heard about this game before; the premise is that if you can get away with cheating, then cheat. So, I cheated like a cheater's cheater. I palmed 10 treasure cards, I snuck crappy cards I didn't want to be stuck with down my jacket sleeve, and even stole 3 levels from the collection of tokens in the middle of the table that everybody could see. I was like a dorky Hudson Hawk. I lost by a single level at the hand of a better cheater.

After all of that, I finally slept. How did I stay awake so long? I was high on life. And pepperoni. And theiving my friends nearly out of victory.

And now, I've placed my parents firmly in the 21st century; They have DSL, a Netgear 802.11b access point and some WiFi usb adapters. Sweet.

Monday, December 22, 2003

Live, from my absurdly-sized cellphone: I'm stuck in Salt Lake City. I got to see a plane be de-iced close up. ugh.

Don't cry for me, world, at least the 49er's won on the road today.

my new flight leaves at 5am. If you need me, I'll be here.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Play Mario Kart Double Dash Online

Yesterday wasn't my best day.

I wasn't able to get through the brand-new, Byzantine-optimisied Alaskan Air system before my plane left. Apparently paper tickets are now a baffling anomoly and I was expected to read Stephen Hawking's Brief Explanation of Airline Travel. Gah.

I bought new tickets, on a different airline, to leave Sunday evening and decided to see 'Return of the King' with Stacy. About 2/3rd of the way through that movie, the lights went out. How was the movie? Stacy felt unsatisified.

It was surreal taking the Geary bus from Van Ness to 15th Avenue through all of the blacked out neighborhoods in between.

The blackout was fun. We lit some candles and played Zelda on my GBA since there wasn't enough light to read by. This morning I had to deal with the zillion bad inodes on my linux machines. Stupid ext2fs. My FreeBSD machine, with soft updates on, fared well. It's probably time to think about some UPS's.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

I look forward to combining this, this and the tons of vinyl I have that have never been released in any digital format. oh boy! [via tao of mac]

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Enabling Rendezvous on Linux

Clinton says 'hi'

[Update: Uhh.. apparently he doesn't say 'hi'. I don't know where that picture went.]

Monday, December 08, 2003

Kevin Marks points out RFC 3229, a well thought out proposal for sending deltas over HTTP. He mentioned it last January but I must've missed that. Thanks Kevin! (for the record, everybody spells my last name wrong -- don't feel bad)

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Gary Lawrence Murphy laments that some poor RSS readers aren't respecting certain parts of HTTP: namely 304 and/or E-Tags. One of his proposed potential solution? Invent a new protocol.

I see a few problems:

1) RSS isn't designed to solve bandwidth concerns: HTTP Cacheing is (kinda).
2) If these bad clients can't be bothered to learn their existing protocol, why would they use a new one? They obviously don't get why bandwidth savings are important. The need for a bandwidth-savings network is going to be lost on them.

A recent discussion on atom-syntax tried to fit solutions to this problem into Atom. Not surprisingly, I thought that was fairly wrong as well. Gary isn't arguing for that here, he recognizes that poor protocol usage shouldn't be addressed in a file format.

This is an issue of developer training and relations, I think. Maybe Joey has some ideas as to how to get the message out there.

There's a bigger problem, though; The existing HTTP Caching approach is pretty darn bad at solving this problem; I implemented 304 support into one particularly popular hosting provider *ahem* and noticed that the drop in bandwidth usage was ridiculously lower than I thought it should be. (Yes, I used a liberal interpretation of "later than this" for 304 matching)

Why didn't 304 alleviate my bandwidth concerns as well as I expected it to? Currently HTTP Caching paints with a pretty broad brush. The client says: "give me the entire document but only if it's been modified since date X". I think these are the wrong semantics. You don't really care if you are sent the most current document, you only care if you _have_ the most current document.

I came up with an idea on the train recently that might be useful here: If you're given the right bytes and told where they should go, you can construct the right document. HTTP does have semantics for giving you bytes and where they should go. Let's reuse that. Here's a workflow for my proposed solution:

  1. You request a document from a webserver for the first time.
  2. Later, you request it again to see what's changed.
  3. Instead of just adding an If-Modified-Since header, you also send an X-header containing the Hash Tree of the document
  4. The server replies with either a 200 and the whole content of the file, a 206 and the Byte Ranges that you need to replace in your own document to build the new document from your current copy, or if it doesn't understand your X-header, you can get back a traditional 304.
This is backwards compatible with current web clients but I have no numbers of typical documents and possible savings. I also really haven't done my homework to see what other possible solutions could exist.

Kevin Burton told me about rsync-over-http recently. That seems like it could be a real solution but I don't yet know enough about rsync design.

Talking about any additions to HTTP, given that Internet Explorer is effectively frozen until Longhorn, seems silly. Except that newsreaders certainly aren't frozen, we've only begun to see newsreader take off. Improvements in HTTP can be experimented with there. This is one area that desperately needs work.

Friday, December 05, 2003

Sorry, my atom feed was down for a few days while I retooled. It's back up. Check it out, Macromedia's BlogReader in Central understands my atom feed. Neat! Also, you should try and read that feed in your browser. I implemented Shellen's recommendation.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

My favorite spam:

"Allow us to evaluate the compatibility of http://www.saladwithsteve.com with GOOGLEâ„¢ search engine!"

Yes, please. I look forward to learning why I'm the top hit for "goofy lookin motherfucker"

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Bush = Bad Roommate. His resolve to rearrange the furniture will not be diminished.

Monday, December 01, 2003

My Atom Feed